It’s that time of year again, when the world’s greatest tech innovators unveil ground-breaking creations. This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) had plenty of highlights, from tablets, smartphones and wireless chargers to drones and robots. Here are our top 10 new products on display at CES 2017. Despite being labeled as a ‘top 10 list,’ these really aren’t ranked in any order. Picking and ranking favorites was simply too hard with this incredible lineup. This list is also tailored with business leaders in mind.
- Samsung Chromebook Plus
Chromebooks have been praised as cost-effective and ultra-portable productivity solutions for a while now, but Samsung’s new tablet/laptop crossover takes it to a new level. The device boasts a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Quad HD resolution (2400×1600) that separates it from traditional Chromebooks. It runs on a snappy 2.0GHz processor and a completely foldable hinge allows you to use the Chromebook Plus as a tablet or a laptop. It includes an S Pen and the Google Play store is pre-installed, giving you instant access to a plethora of apps. It’s due to ship on February 5 at a price of around $450. Why is this advantageous for business? It’s a high-quality machine that costs a fraction of a full-powered laptop. And with more and more productivity taking place in the cloud, business leaders don’t necessarily need to shell out for hardware that costs more than a thousand dollars.
- Energous WattUp
The days of having multiple charging cords cluttering your desk may be over. Energous, from San Jose, showcased it’s WattUp technology that will allow users to charge an array of devices wirelessly. It works by using a radio frequency system to deliver energy to devices at a distance of up to 15 feet, through multiple antenna arrays. A cloud software portal or mobile app is used to set up any devices you want charged, including keyboards, mice, remote controls and the like. What does this mean? You won’t have to remember to manually recharge your devices anymore, meaning that unexpected downtime can be avoided. And less clutter on your desktop is always a good thing. The devices are expected to ship later in 2017 at a price to be determined.
- ODG R-8 and R-9 Smart Glasses
Early generation smart glasses have given workers in the field the power to send and receive images and video, along with messaging capabilities, which can come in handy for onsite analysis and problem solving. The R-8 and R-9 glasses from ODG are taking things a step further by providing virtual reality (VR) capabilities. Priced at $1,000 and $1,800 respectively, the glasses are expected to ship in the second quarter of 2017. They’ll allow users to develop, train and problem solve various scenarios in 3D, virtual environments. Healthcare workers, for instance, can run through emergency exercises in any number of scenarios without having to go out into the field or engage with real actors.
- Lenovo Smart Assistant
Managing daily tasks should become a little easier when the Lenovo Smart Assistant hits shelves in May. Smart Assistant consists of a wireless speaker paired with Amazon’s personal assistant software, Alexa. The Lenovo Smart Assistant can, by voice command, order takeout food during a meeting, purchase office supplies for you on demand, create lists, manage calendars and conduct web searches, allowing you to get on with other tasks. There will be two versions, one that retails at $130 and another for $180 (the more expensive model is built with a better speaker).
- Intel Compute Card
The Internet of Things (IOT) revolution is helping to transform business with a growing list of smart products. For example, smart tractors and harvesters are helping farmers achieve the utmost in efficiency by mapping precise field routes. But what happens when our IOT devices are out of date in a few years? Thankfully, Intel is on it. Its new card-sized computer is designed to power IOT products with the specific goal of making them upgradeable. So instead of needing a new smart tractor when it’s time to upgrade, farmers will merely swap cards. Details on pricing and a release date are expected in Q2 2017.
- Asus Zenfone AR
CES 2017 spectators were wowed this year by the Zenfone AR from Asus. The Zenfone uses the Google Tango augmented reality (AR) platform to map 3D environments with a series of three cameras. This has the potential to help designers and engineers by creating real-world models. A designer, for instance, can see how a piece of furniture might fit in a room, or how clothes might fit on a particular person. The technology is new and it may take a while before a healthy array of apps are available for business use, but it’s exciting, innovative and worth keeping an eye on. We’re still waiting for a release date and info on pricing.
Ciqada (developed by Mars International) is a remarkable new product that will enable entrepreneurs and product developers to make IOT capable devices without requiring their own IOT development departments. Here’s how it works: you develop a product, install the Ciqada hardware module and then decide just what information you want to communicate with the internet. Ciqada’s cloud software is then used to manage the device, which can be controlled from a computer or mobile app. It’s this kind of innovation that should spur further growth in the IOT revolution. Developers should contact Ciqada for quotes. Pricing depends on the size and specific variables of your project.
- PowerRay Aquatic Drone
At first glance this fascinating device may not sound like a business tool, but for salvage operators or emergency response teams, this underwater drone could prove invaluable in providing subsurface data. The Power Ray, from PowerVision, operates in both fresh and salt water. It can dive to 30 meters and is equipped with a 4K camera that can shoot either photo or video. If you’re a charter captain or you just want to get away from the office for a fishing trip, you can purchase an optional fish finding sonar device that’s capable of detecting fish 40 meters below its diving depth. As with many of the newest creations showcased at CES, we’re still waiting for pricing. Pre-ordering is expected to begin on February 27.
- Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed
What, you ask, is a bed doing on a list that’s slanted towards business users? Well, it’s no secret that healthy sleep patterns are a boon for productivity, and the Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed will help you sleep like a baby. This remarkable device doesn’t require any effort on the user’s part – it self-adjusts to each person’s sleeping behavior. As each person moves or changes position, the Sleep Number 360 shifts with them, optimizing mattress shape to ensure the best rest possible. It will even warm your bed before you get in it, and can detect when a person is starting to snore. It will then raise that partner’s side of the bed which can apparently stop snoring. That alone had the folks at CES excited. Pricing and a release date are pending, and you can sign up to be notified about both on Sleep Number’s website.
How could we not include a robot in a CES review? There were a lot of great robots at this year’s show, but Lynx, from Ubtech, really stood out. Lynx is a remarkably life-like robot in humanoid form, powered by Amazon’s Alexa (personal assistant software) and Ubtech’s own speech recognition programming. Lynx can do all kinds of helpful things, like controlling a smart home or office, reading emails aloud to you (to which you can dictate responses). Lynx’s camera is bundled with facial recognition software so the robot will tailor greetings and responses to different individuals. The camera can also be monitored remotely, so if you’re wondering how things are at the office or on your worksite at night you can look through Lynx’s eyes. It’s due for a spring 2017 release, but specifics (including pricing) haven’t been announced yet.
Categories: Optimize Operations
View Other Articles: